Oil and gas in the capitals

Russia experienced quite a traumatic financial crisis by mid-December, when strong speculation against the ruble propelled it to more than 77 rubles against US$1. The ruble’s exchange rate began to depreciate after January 2014, when the Central Bank stopped its interventions. This movement corresponded, in part, to the former overvaluation and was natural. But since the beginning of July, this depreciation accelerated progressively until the spectacular events of Dec. 12-18, 2014, which are linked to a speculative attack. The consequences on the Russian economy are known: an inflationary trend, because of the brutal hike in the price of imported goods; an important reduction in investments for the same reason; and a temporary interruption of said imports, because of the uncertainties about the exchange rate. It is evident that this will entail a temporary recession in Russia during the first half of 2015.

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